Residents fill plastic bottles at a water pump in a park in Kyiv on Thursday. AFP
“The UAE firmly believes that diplomacy remains the only viable way to end the crisis, and shares the international community’s deep concerns about the repercussions of the current situation on civilians in and out of Ukraine, and regional and international peace, security and stability,” the statement said further.
In times of conflict, our collective responsibility is to leave no stone unturned towards identifying and pursuing paths that bring about a peaceful and swift resolution of crises.
As such, the UAE remains firmly committed to help keep channels of communication open, encourage dialogue, support diplomacy, leveraging all the tools at our disposal to alleviate suffering and find a peaceful and sustainable solution that enhances international peace and security and ends the humanitarian impact on civilians.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine battled on Thursday to reconnect water and electricity services to millions of people cut off after Russia launched dozens of cruise missiles that battered Ukraine’s already crippled electricity grid.
Emergency personnel walk near burnt out cars at the scene of a Russian shelling in Kyiv. AP
The energy system in Ukraine is on the brink of collapse and millions have been subjected to emergency blackouts over recent weeks after systematic Russian bombardments of the grid.
The World Health Organisation has warned of “life-threatening” consequences and estimated that millions could leave their homes as a result.
Twenty-four hours after the Russian strikes smashed Kyiv, city officials said 70 per cent of homes were still suffering emergency outages but that water services had been fully restored.
“Energy companies are making every effort to return (services) as soon as possible,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said earlier.
The strikes knocking out electricity come at a precarious time, with winter setting in and temperatures in the capital hovering just above freezing.
Ukraine accused Russian forces of launching around 70 cruise missiles as well as drones in attacks that left 10 dead and around 50 wounded.
But Russia’s defence ministry denied striking any targets inside Kyiv and said damage in the capital was caused by Ukrainian and foreign air defence systems.
“Not a single strike was made on targets within the city of Kyiv,” it said.
The Kremlin said Ukraine was ultimately responsible for the fallout from the strikes and that Kyiv could end the strikes by acquiescing to Russian demands.
Ukraine “has every opportunity to settle the situation, to fulfil Russia’s demands and as a result, end all possible suffering of the civilian population,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Moscow announced separately it had issued tens of thousands of Russian passports to residents of four Ukrainian territories, which President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed in September.
“More than 80,000 people received passports as citizens of the Russian Federation,” Valentina Kazakova, a migration official with the interior ministry, said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.
The Arab League (AL) says the foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan and Sudan met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Ahemd Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, also joined the meeting.
President Zelensky said conditions in Mariupol, which has seen the worst fighting of the nearly eight-week long war, continued to worsen, though Reuters witnesses said a few dozen civilians managed to leave the city on Wednesday in a small bus convoy.
"The UAE is supporting efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis and is keen to promote regional and international security and stability, along with its efforts to fulfill the humanitarian needs of affected civilians in Ukraine."
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